Gregg K. Kakesako of the Star Advertiser writes that patrons of a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store in Waikele Center during the last two months may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus after one of the store’s employees was confirmed to have the disease, the state Health Department said today.
People who haven’t had the hepaptitis A vaccine or immune globulin and who consumed any food or drinks from the Waikele store on June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3 should contact their healthcare providers about getting vaccinated, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure, the Health Department said in a news release.
All cases have been in adults on Oahu, 16 have required hospitalization.
“The source of this outbreak has still not been determined. In the meantime, we encourage all persons consider and talk to their healthcare provider about getting vaccinated,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “This case demonstrates the potential to spread hepatitis A virus to many others who remain susceptible. In an effort to stem the spread of disease, individuals, including food service employees, exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis A infection should stay home and contact their healthcare provider.”
The head of the Hawaii Restaurant Association, Gregg Fraser, said “It’s as simple as frequent hand washing with warm water. Not only wash it in the bathroom, but when you enter the kitchen. There (are) typically 2 or 3 points of hand washing. There is a hand-washing sink in the kitchen as well.”
“If I was a restaurant manager right now, I’d make sure that all of my employees had the vaccine. I’d even pay for it,” he said.
The vaccine part makes sense. The handwashing advice with warm water is wrong.
And how happy are restaurant owners going to be if their employees actually followed all government sanctioned advice, and didn’t work when they were sick, washed their hands everytime they were supposed to, like after scratching their nose, or wore cloves and then scratched their ass.
It’s not simple.